Geometric object with magnitude (length) and direction.

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2
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2answers
83 views

Orthogonality in curved space/spacetime

When are two vectors orthogonal in curved spacetime? From wikipedia: "In 2-D or higher-dimensional Euclidean space, two vectors are orthogonal if and only if their dot product is zero, i.e. they ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What does relative to something mean?

I just started learning about vector components and relative motion. I don't understand what relative to something means. I looked online but none of the explanations are helpful. If someone could ...
1
vote
1answer
387 views

Rate of change of a vector

I'm studying the book "Classical Mechanics" by Goldstein together with a coursebook my professor provided. I'm having trouble grasping how to intuitively determine what the rate of change of a vector ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

What type of mathematical structure is a physicist's definition of a vector space?

A vector space as defined by a mathematician lacks the invariant scalar product that lies at the heart of what I would define as a physicist's definition of a vector space that models the physical ...
0
votes
2answers
100 views

Polar coordinates explanation needed on calculation [closed]

This is the question. Here is the answer. But honestly I cant figure it out. Maybe my lecturer's handwriting is quite illegible too (just kidding). Sorry if I ask too simple question but ...
1
vote
4answers
7k views

What is the difference between dot and cross product?

What is the difference between dot product and cross product? Why do we use cross product to find torque, why can't we use dot product? Also we use dot product to find work done and not cross ...
4
votes
2answers
902 views

Which mathematical operation does the right hand rule for current come from?

I am currently wondering about this famous rule: Where does it come from mathematically that when you point with your thumb in the direction of the current, your curved fingers will point in the ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

Where did I commit a mistake in calculating rotation? [closed]

I did something wrong in my calculation, can somebody tell me what?
0
votes
4answers
145 views

The work done by running in a rectangle

This may be quite off-topic but please help me. Is there any work done when I run in a rectangle? I thought that the answer should be no. But my teacher says that we should calculate each side ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

What are some good resources for learning how to apply vectors in physics?

Although I don't have any problems with vectors when using them in Mathematics but I am having a hard time using them in physics. It is really frustrating me. Can you please recommend me some good ...
0
votes
2answers
91 views

How is it that the cross product of two vectors is always perpendicular to the given vectors? [duplicate]

Vector addition, subtraction and dot product seem logical enough, but I don't understand how two vectors acting on the same plane maybe, can give a perpendicular resultant.
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Curl of a vector field with two different systems of coordinates

Let $$\mathbf{H} = H_x \mathbf{u}_x + H_y \mathbf{u}_y + H_z \mathbf{u}_z$$ be a vector field whose components are defined with respect to the unit vectors $\mathbf{u}_x$, $\mathbf{u}_y$ and ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Question about resolving forces

Say, in the example below, the weight $mg$ of the object is $800N$. To find $R$, the conventional method is to use $R\sin(28^\circ) = 800$. But why isn't it possible to use instead the component of ...
1
vote
1answer
555 views

Intuitive meaning of Dot Product [duplicate]

I know intuitively that the Cross Product of two vectors $\vec{A}$ and $\vec{B}$ represents another vector $\vec{A \times B}$ perpendicular to it. In study of physics we come across this situation a ...
12
votes
5answers
13k views

Can we divide two vectors?

Can we divide two vector quantities? For eg., Pressure( a scalar) equals force (a vector) divided by area (a vector).
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Contradiction of a scalar product

Can anyone resolve this contradiction: ...
0
votes
2answers
108 views

confusion on vector quantities

How can we define simply that velocity is a vector quantity without mentioning that velocity has vector properties. How can we simply say it needs both magnitude and direction for its complete ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Compute the minimal distance between two points in movement

There are two points, $A$ and $B$ that move according to these laws: $$ \vec{x_a}= 20 -10 t $$ $$ \vec{x_b}= -15 +15 t $$ $A$ moves along the x axis, $B$ along the y axis. I have to compute the ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Understanding vectors in an example

I just read an example of vectors in my book which is confusing me. Three particles A,B and C are at the vertices of an equilateral trinagle ABC. Each of the particle moves with constant speed v. ...
4
votes
2answers
378 views

Why the generators of boosts transform like a vector under rotation?

$$\left[J_i,J_j \right]=i\epsilon_{ijk}J_k$$ $$\left[J_i,M_j \right]=i\epsilon_{ijk}M_k$$ $$\left[M_i,M_j \right]=-i\epsilon_{ijk}J_k$$ where $J_i$ is the generator of rotation of Lorentz group, $M_i$ ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Angular velocity vector in terms of motion of an object

May be it is small question in this forum but I'm trying to get the feel of the understanding about the angular velocity. If this question is getting rejected please kindly refer me to appropriate ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

2D vector components

Can any equation with a vector e.g. velocity be used with just the horizontal or just the vertical components, I am thinking of equations like Newton's laws, conservation of linear momentum etc. So ...
0
votes
2answers
351 views

Relative motion. Setting course of closest approach

Let $r_{P/Q}$ be the position vector of $\overrightarrow P$ relative to vector $\overrightarrow Q$ and $v_{P/Q}$ the velocity vector of $\overrightarrow P$ relative to $\overrightarrow Q$. Suppose ...
1
vote
1answer
172 views

Plane Polar coordinates for simple pendulum in moving lift(elevator) [closed]

Can any one help me with the following. A simple pendulum is suspended from the ceiling of a lift. It is moving upward with acceleration $a$. The string of the effective length of the pendulum makes ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

How to derive the commutation relationship between $\hat{L}^2$ and $\hat{\textbf{p}}$ [closed]

How to prove that $$[\hat{L}^2,\hat{\textbf{p}}] = i\hbar(\hat{\textbf{p}}\times\hat{\textbf{L}} - \hat{\textbf{L}} \times \hat{\textbf{p}})$$ I tried to expand $\hat{L}^2$: ...
1
vote
3answers
401 views

Why does the moment of force (aka. torque) depend on the perpendicular distance?

Couyld anyone explain how the lecturer concluded that $$(\underline{r_2} - \underline{r_1}) \times \underline{H} = \underline{p} \times \underline{H}$$
2
votes
4answers
827 views

Sum of acceleration vectors

If a point mass has some accelerations $\mathbf{a_1} $ and $\mathbf{a_2} $, why is mathematically true that the "total" acceleration is $\mathbf{a}= \mathbf {a_1}+\mathbf {a_2}$?
2
votes
1answer
284 views

What is the physical interpretation of the dot/inner/scalar product of two vectors?

What is the physical interpretation of the dot/inner/scalar product of two vectors? See, if we multiply two scalars like 2*3 we say two times three is six. I also do understand multiplication of ...
20
votes
8answers
2k views

Is it foolish to distinguish between covariant and contravariant vectors?

A vector space is a set whose elements satisfy certain axioms. Now there are physical entities that satisfy these properties, which may not be arrows. A co-ordinate transformation is linear map from a ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

Scattering geometry question

While reading up on light scattering I came across this slide: My vector maths is a bit rusty and I am having trouble understanding the last term (scattering geometry). What is the significance of ...
1
vote
3answers
347 views

More about the right hand rule?

We started learning about electromagnetism in physics class, and the Right Hand Rule comes in handy as seems easy to use, but I'm curious as to how it actually works. I guess it's more of a math ...
1
vote
1answer
398 views

Finding angular momentum about the center of mass?

If we have a couple of particles of an equal, unknown mass: $$r_{+} = (c + e^{-Bt} \cos({\theta}))\textbf{x} + (d + e^{-Bt} \sin({\theta}))\textbf{y}$$ $$r_{-} = (c - e^{-Bt} ...
0
votes
1answer
163 views

The formula used to calculate electrical potential energy

Sorry for the ugly picture but it makes my question more understandable. The $\Delta V$ from $A$ to $B$ is calculated by$$\int_A^B E \, \mathrm{d}r$$ where $r$ is the distance between $A$ and $B$. ...
1
vote
5answers
108 views

Why is the independence of orthogonal vector-quantities always implicit in books/lectures?

The "theorem" that I can "just" separately deal with orthogonal quantities (like horizontal and vertical force or velocity, etc), I never found explicitly mentioned, but just implicitly in the ...
0
votes
3answers
250 views

We need to find unit vector along the reflected ray [closed]

A ray of light on a plane mirror comes along a vector $i+j-k$ The normal on incidence point is along $i+j$ we need to find unit vector along the reflected ray. I am not able to solve and draw the ...
1
vote
1answer
347 views

Where do these formulas for an object being pushed up an incline come from? [closed]

An object on an incline with an angle $\theta$ is being pushed at constant speed. Constant speed implies $a = 0$. Because $F=ma$ and the object must have mass greater than 0. If I want to find the ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Relative motion and how to calculate magnitude and velocity of objects relative to different given objects [closed]

A canoe has a velocity of 0.550m/s southeast relative to the earth. The canoe is on a river that is flowing at 0.540m/s east relative to the earth. Alright so I attempted many different things an ...
0
votes
1answer
296 views

Finding an equation to solve for the velocity of a swimmer crossing a river [closed]

Where $\theta=45^\circ$, $d_1=200\:\mathrm{m}$, and $d_2=150\:\mathrm{m}$. I do not know how to combine the following equations: $$\begin{align} t&=\frac{d_1}{v_s\cos(45^\circ)}\\ ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Laws of addition of Vectors

How Triangle Law and Parallelogram law of addition of Vectors are different?Ain't they. Please don't tell me the things written in book......give me the appropriate reason.And how do i distinguish ...
1
vote
2answers
112 views

Differentiating a vector product

$$m_i\mathbf{r}_i\times\frac{\mathrm{d}^2\mathbf{r}_i}{\mathrm{d}t^2} = \frac{\mathrm{d}}{\mathrm{d}t}\biggl(m_i\mathbf{r}_i\times\frac{\mathrm{d}\mathbf{r}_i}{\mathrm{d}t}\biggr)$$ I do not ...
1
vote
1answer
362 views

Why consider only direction cosines?

Why are these called direction angles? Why do we consider only direction cosines and not direction sines or tans. What is its actual significance? And How to use them? Why are they called ...
0
votes
3answers
153 views

Animating an Acceleration Vector - Acceleration of object on a crested path in gravitational field

So I was reading in Chapter 3 of my textbook, Sears & Zemanksky's University Physics with Modern Physics by Young and Freedman, 13th Edition, and the discussion took us to a definition of the ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

On a horizontal plane, why does $F_N=W$?

I keep seeing this definition everywhere, but I don't understand. The forces of the weight and the normal force are going in opposite directions, so shouldn't $F_N=-W$?
2
votes
1answer
709 views

Line of action force

The task is to reduce the two forces into a single net force and then find the equation of its line of action. I chose to find the net force and momentum with respect to the origin. The magnitude of ...
1
vote
7answers
39k views

What does the magnitude of the acceleration mean?

I am a little confused as to what the magnitude of acceleration is and what it means.
2
votes
3answers
771 views

The velocity formula $\mathbf{v} = \mathbf{u} + \mathbf{a}t$ for 1D, 2D, 3D . What is the difference?

Could I use $\mathbf{v} = \mathbf{u} + \mathbf{a}t$ for calculating velocity in these 3 different dimensions? If not, what's the difference between these 3 dimensions? How would you calculate ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Why does precession only occur at high angular speeds?

I'm trying to understand precession for a gyroscope or top. I do understand why precession occurs using the vectors for the weight force and torque and angular momentum. But what I don't understand ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Some subtleties in direction of drag force

Consider a body released from a height $h$ and assume a drag force is linearly proportional to the velocity. Then by Newton's Second Law, $$m\mathbf{\dot{v}} = \mathbf{F_g} + \mathbf{F_{drag}} = ...
0
votes
2answers
185 views

Difference between the two equations for acceleration

I came upon this while studying S.H.M. Well,is there a difference between writing $$a=\frac{dv}{dt}\;$$ and $$a=v\frac{dv}{dx}\;$$ do they differ on the basis of one being a vector and the other ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Position with respect to time with friction

I'm interested in equations of motion when friction is present for a little graphical side project I am working on. I'm really rusty with physics, so I apologize if this is a basic question or doesn't ...